R&B Fridays: Episode 106

Some really interesting remixes this week, with the works of R&B poster boys Drake and Frank Ocean undergoing treatment from their peers. Of course, there’s a sprinkling of original material too with a range of styles represented.

A fair bit to recap on from the week gone by: a James Blake and Drake mashup mixtape, a very enjoyable R&B throwback from will.i.am, strong slow jam from Lloyd’s upcoming album, brand new material from Drake, and for some reason a video for Enrique, Usher and Lil’ Wayne’s collab and Britney’s latest single. Click below for this week’s goods and services.

Teyana Taylor-Her Room (Marvin’s Room Remix)
-Such a huge fan of this production, and Teyana drops off a remix that I’m told has been getting considerable buzz. She mentioned that it was one of her more personal works to date, and even claims to have been crying whilst recording: odd, but you have to commend the commitment to her craft. The end product is very enjoyable with some solid vocal work, and whilst it might just fall slightly short of JoJo’s superb remix, it deserves credit for coming close to it.

David Guetta-Little Bad Girl ft. Taio Cruz & Ludacris
-Sounds like pretty much every David Guetta track: generic, catchy, Autotuned, and for better or worse, this will likely dominate clubs this summer. Not really anything I’ll be listening to in my spare time.

Dawn Richard-Novacane Remix
-Naturally, this isn’t a threat to the original at all, but is a solid remix that showcases Dawn’s talents fairly well with some engaging vocal work that meshes nicely with the distinctive production. Would have been nice to hear her steer this in a slightly different direction lyrically to really stamp her authority on the track, but decent nonetheless.

Mary J. Blige-Hero
-Uplifting track from MJB from her upcoming album. Pretty typical work from her with a big, powerful vocal performance laced with a meaningful lyrical message, and backed by a solid progressive production that incorporates some booming percussion well to ably back MJB’s vocals. Solid track if you’re a fan of her usual stuff.

The Weeknd-Trust Issues Remix
-Given that he can count Drake as one of his biggest fans (and a friend of his too, it seems), it’s good to see him take on a track he’s personally ‘close to’ for a remix. Nice few additions to the production thicken things up a little, with a couple of extra percussion hits thrown in to freshen the beat, whilst The Weeknd’s vocal refixing of the track is as harmonic as ever, arguably eclipsing the more relaxed, monotone original with lots of emotion and diversity in the vocals. Very good remix.

Tiara Thomas-All Around The World ft. Wale
-I’ve got a lot of hope for Tiara. She really stood out in her recent video with Wale, and certainly has enough all-round talent to suggest she could be a future star. Here she gets through three facets of her musical ability, strumming a summery, easygoing guitar melody for the production, rapping the first verse in decent fashion, and delivering a mellow, easy listening hook, all of which combine for a good listen. Wale finishes off with a solid verse, though it’s once again Tiara that comes through as the winner on this track. Undoubtedly, a very exciting talent.

-Given the slew of ‘unofficial’ releases this guy puts out, you’ll be pleased and/or surprised to hear this is actually an official single from an upcoming album. A busy production makes for relatively decent listening, though when tied to the vocals/lyrics, it feels as though something more relaxed would have been suitable. Not a slight on the production, but it just feels like it may be on the wrong track. Vocals are fairly solid, and whilst the track is nothing spectacular, it’ll be an easy listen for the casual R&B fans.

Sammie-Marvin’s Room Remix
-The first male remix I’ve heard of this, and it’s a very good one. Sammie will inevitably (and rightfully) draw comparisons with Trey Songz for his performance here, coming through with that same stretched, ‘reaching’ style that Trey is famed for, as well as similar lyrical and rhyme styles. Of course, he’s not just mini-Trey and certainly comes away with credit for fusing nicely with the airy production by delivering a nice mix of vocals.

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